The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 20, 2007


CCHS teacher pay rates are complex, reward experience and responsibility

The newly ratified CCHS teachers' contract includes 24 changes to the former contract which covered school terms 2003-2007. At least half of the changes relate to teacher pay. Salary configurations can be unique for each teacher, and a teacher's total income is based on a number of factors including experience, education, time at CCHS and additional stipends.

Full-time teachers start out with a "base salary," for 185 work days per year. According to the Massachusetts Department of Education the average salary for Concord-Carlisle teachers in the 2005—2006 school year was $65,798 (, which is comparable to salaries at other regional high schools in the western suburbs (see Table 1).

Base salary + steps

Teachers' salaries start with the "Base Salary Schedule" which will increase by 3% for each of the three years covered by the new three-year 2007-2010 contract.

The schedule is laid out in 16 "steps," the first step being the first year of a teacher's experience at any school, and the last being the 16th year of teaching experience. Each step is a 4% increase in salary. The former contract had 17 steps. The number of steps was reduced to 16 in the new contract, giving teachers an immediate 4% raise.

The base salary for a new teacher at step 1 with a bachelor's degree is $39,744 for the coming school year. If the teacher stays at CCHS until 2009-2010, the step 3 base pay for a teacher with a bachelor's degree will be $45,605, compared with the step 1 rate of $42,164.


In addition to steps, the salary structure contains "lanes" which provide increases based on completed college or "in service" credits (in-house courses that qualify for college credits). For instance, the base salary for a teacher at step 3 in 2009-2010 with a master's degree will be $53,357; $56,094 with a master's + 30 credits; or $60,302 with a doctorate.

Awards for staying at CCHS

To encourage longevity, teachers are awarded "experience increments" after serving at least ten years at CCHS, and these awards are considered part of the "regular teaching salary." The awards are a percentage of the bachelor's maximum salary at step 16 of lane 1 (Bmax) for the current school year. Table 2 shows the experience increments for 2007-2008.

The new contract will cap the increments at 6% at the end of the 2009 — 2010 school year, but teachers already receiving experience increments over 6% will continue to receive the same increment (but will not advance to a higher increment).

Example: Teacher B

To illustrate how the experience increments would be applied, assume Teacher B has a master's degree and 14 years of teaching experience, 13 of which are at CCHS. In addition he has 15 credits towards his doctorate (M+15). His salary structure is shown in Table 3. This hypothetical teacher's salary will go from $80,845 to $93,404 in three years, a 15.5% increase.

In general, steps are for years of general teacher experience prior and at CCHS, lanes are for educational achievement, and experience increments are awards for CCHS service. Steps and experience increments require a teacher to be in good standing and may be withheld if a teacher has received a mid-year warning that his/her performance is "less that satisfactory."

Additional compensation

There are other responsibilities which may result in additional compensation, not included in "regular salary." Many co-curricular activities (such as sports, radio station, National Honor Society or cheerleader advisor) provide stipends to faculty leaders. All stipend amounts will increase by 3% each year. The new contract stipulates that non-coaching stipends may be revised during the life of the contract, as well as the stipends for the coaching positions, but at a minimum the 3% increase stands.

Stipends have merit levels

Most activities have at least three stipend "merit" levels for each school year and a teacher's starting stipend is determined by the superintendent. A teacher receiving a stipend would start at the first level unless the principal and superintendent move them to a higher level based on performance and experience. Moving to a higher stipend level is granted on merit basis, "subject to the approval of the School Committee," the contract states.

Stipends vary

Stipends vary widely depending on the activity. For example, the highest stipend in 2008 — 2009 is for the varsity football coach, at $9,789. Examples of stipends in other activities include: girls varsity basketball coach: $6,622; varsity swimming: $5,494; boys varsity tennis: $4,013; astronomy: $2,263; and intramural volleyball: $471.

The coordinator of athletics receives 12% of Bmax, the Coordinator of Information Technology 8% of the bachelor's maximum (Bmax), and the Coordinator of METCO 8% of Bmax, funded through METCO. Department chairpersons receive either 7% or 9% of Bmax each year, depending on how many people are in the department, and the chairperson will receive an extra 2% for serving two terms. New teacher mentors receive $1,000 per year, and a mentor guide receives $500. Curriculum projects, which are identified by the superintendent, are compensated at $300 per day.

Teachers who work during the summer are compensated at $225 per day or $112.50 for a half day. Additionally, "Members of the staff whose time is required by the Superintendent beyond the regular contract period will be reimbursed for their timecalculated at one-fortieth of the regular salary per week spent."

Example: Teacher C

Table 4 illustrates how additional compensation can change a teacher's salary. Assume Teacher C is starting her 23rd year at CCHS, is in her second three-year term as chairperson of the science department (receiving 11% of BMax, with over seven members in the department), is a mentor for new teachers, takes on special curriculum projects, has 45 credits towards her doctorate, and advises the Varsity Ski Club, where she receives a merit increase in her stipend each year. She is a staff member whom the school would like to retain and award her longevity. (Note: examples in this report are based on the contract tables, not on any actual teachers.) Teacher C receives $16,200 over her base salary of $90,187.

Sick leave "buy back"

Full-time teachers receive 15 days of personal sick time, which may be accumulated each year without limit. Upon retirement teachers hired prior to 1986 may receive payment of 50% of their accumulated unused sick days, up to a maximum of 100 days. For those hired after 1985, upon retirement the cap lowers to 62 days. In order to phase out the sick leave buy back, the new contract allows teachers to "irrevocably waive" their rights to sick leave pay in exchange for two step movements, from step 7 to step 9, and from step 14 to step 16. Teachers hired after 2006 are not eligible for retirement payments or sick leave buy back. Explained Regional School Committee Chair Michael Fitzgerald, "The region pays out on average $200K per year to departing members of the faculty," he explained. "The elimination of the sick-leave buy back program will have significant financial benefits."

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito